That was intense! Imagine the unimaginable – the huge super volcano of Yellowstone has erupted. The Midwestern US is under a foot or so of volcanic ash. It’s cold. Winter is extra-long, extending into the summer months because volcanic ash blocks out the sun. Resources are virtually non-existent. Society, or whatever is left of it, has changed for the worse.Ashen Winter takes place 10 months after the events of Ashfall. Sixteen year old Alex and his girlfriend Darla have been reunited with Alex’s aunt, uncle, sister, and cousins in Warren. Alex’s parents left the farm to search for Alex and are now missing. Alex plans to leave the relative safety of the farm to look for his parents. And so begins a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat, biting your nails, and completely breathless. Ashen Winter is an action-packed read. So much stuff happens in this book that I was literally flipping the pages as fast as possible. It is a bleak world with people taking extraordinary (and often disgusting) measures in order to survive. Alex grows and matures a lot in this book and while he does make some horrible and often impulsive decisions, I do admire his tenacity. In fact, if the volcano at Yellowstone did erupt (and I hope I never see that in my lifetime), I would want someone like Alex on my side. I loved the strong female characters in this book. Darla (or MacGyver as DG likes to call her) was just amazing. Hand her a few parts of a broken down whatever, and she builds and entirely new contraption perfect for traveling on volcanic ash. Her mechanical aptitude was unsurpassed. Ashfall and Ashen Winter are definitely on my top 10 young adult reads. I am very excited to hear that there will be another book in the series, as well as a novella about Darla coming soon.Check out Mike Mullin’s guest post on Badass Book Reviews.Badass Book Reviews discusses our thoughts on Ashen Winter here.Thank you to NetGalley and Tanglewood for a review copy of this book.